Dr Milford Bateman is currently a Visiting Professor of Economics at the University of Juraj Dorbila located at Pula, Croatia, while working as a freelance consultant on local economic development. He is known for his works on development economics in the Western Balkans. His controversial book, Why Doesn’t Microfinance Work? which focused on the impacts of microfinance projects in the developing world, sparked debate on the effectiveness of microfinance around the world.
Debating against Dr Bateman is Dr Phyllis SantaMaria, who is the Founder and Director of the Financial Inclusion Forum UK and also a Founder and Director of Learning without Borders. She is in favour of microfinance and will be arguing in favour of financial inclusion and other forms of microfinance, such as microinsurance.
Mediating the debate will be LSE’s very own Dr Kate Meagher, Associate Professor in Development Studies, known for her work in rural development and informal economies in developing nations, especially in the African continent.
FairFinance, a UK based social company focusing on microfinance, will be coming to LSE to give a presentation about how microfinance in the UK works. This will give an insight to the members of the LSESU Microfinance Society on how microfinance organisations operate in developed countries. They will further elaborate on employment opportunities, including volunteer work and internships in the sector as well as case studies presented by the organisation. This will then be followed by a Q&A session.
Do you want to learn the skills of a Microfinance practitioner in 5 weeks? Join our interactive crash course today! All candidates who complete this course will be eligible to become pod leaders for our Microfinance Initiative starting in Lent term!
Every Monday and Thursday starting from 9 November 2015 to 10 December 2015, Mr Sadrudin Akbarali FCA; CTA will be talking you through some key aspects of Microfinance and how these skills can be put into practice. Mr Akbarali is formerly Senior Programme Manager for Aga Khan Agency for Microfinance with over 30 years experience in developing, supervising and advising enterprise development, microfinance and other financial institution.
Register your interest now by emailing us on firstname.lastname@example.org with your contact details, course, year of study and a brief description why you want to do the course (100 words) before 7 November 2015
Course fee: £20 but only £15 if you pay before 31 October 2015!
Understanding Microfinance and Financial Inclusion: This introductory session takes a historical perspective and examines the various approaches taken by commercial banks, non-governmental organisations, credit unions, governments and microfinance institutions. It will define the concept of Microfinance and Financial Inclusion, the paradigm shift and the evolution to sustainable entities and social enterprises.
Importance of Financial Statements: Micro-enterprises and Microfinance institutions deal with specific financial statements. In non-accounting and simple language, this session will enhance understanding of profit/loss accounts and balance sheets, and explore ways to read and construct simplistic financial statements.
Building blocks for starting Microfinance programmes: From the initial stages of research, this session will provide insights into starting Microfinance programmes: mission setting, planning and designing, implementation and evaluation.
Measuring Performance: Touching on the financial structures and outreach indicators, this session will teach you how to evaluate and measure the overall financial performance of microfinance programmes for financial inclusion. It draws on key concepts of revenue, expenditure, efficiency, productivity, risk and liquidity – and challenges you to delve into the technical aspects of Microfinance.
Savings, micro-insurance and other financial products: To achieve greater financial inclusion, microfinance institutions need to go beyond micro-credit. Here, we will discuss the evolution to fully-fledged financial institutions providing savings, micro-insurance, remittances and other financial products.
Sustainability and Profitability: Should the aim of microfinance and financial inclusion be purely poverty alleviation or should they be sustainable and profitable? This session deals with the issue of how to fund these institutions and engages you in a discussion of the real challenges that microfinance institutions face.
Social Performance and Impact: How can microfinance institutions achieve social goals that go beyond financial inclusion? The session will discuss the need for entwined processes required to attain social aims and possible ways to measure impact.
Case study: Microfinance and financial inclusion manifest themselves in different ways in different contexts, be they in Asia, Africa, Latin America, USA or Europe. In this session, we will investigate a case study from a specific country, taking into account the environment, culture and socio-economic background and other challenges. The depth of this practical case study will provide you food for thought on your course essays
Regulations and Supervision: Can microfinance institutions remain unregulated and unsupervised? How does this affect their clients and their ability to achieve greater financial inclusion? The session will present the case for an appropriate regulatory and supervisory system for microfinance and financial inclusion
The Way Forward: In the past 40 years, microfinance institutions have evolved significantly. What are the key challenges for them to achieve greater financial inclusion? What are the opportunities and possible ways forward? The session will debate and discuss the most plausible scenarios for a better future.
We, the LSE SU Microfinance Society is a group of dedicated students who share a common curiosity in exploring the subject of microfinance and financial inclusion. We aim to promote and raise awareness about this topic in LSE as well as London. We achieve this through talks and panel discussions with renowned professionals within the sector, as well as an interactive platform for students called the LSE SU Microfinance Initiative, which provides the unique opportunity for hands-on experience in the industry through consulting practices targeted towards small businesses in developing countries. We as a society offer LSE students invaluable insight into the work of microfinance institutions as well as providing information sessions for graduate placements and internship opportunities with the overarching aim of making a positive impact in this world.